Italia • 1284−1344

The largest master of Sienese painting worked in Siena, Assisi, Naples at the court of king Robert of Anjou, in the last years of his life - at the papal court in Avignon, where he became a friend of Petrarch. Probably was a disciple of Duccio di Buoninsegna, the leading painter of that time and the founder of the Sienese school. He received an invitation to Pope Benedict XII in 1340 and moved to Avignon, where was the papal throne. Worked in Siena, Naples (at the court of the Neapolitan king Robert of Anjou, including OK. 1317, was elevated to the dignity of knighthood), Orvieto, Assisi and Avignon, where he died.

Along with Duccio and Ambrogio Lorenzetti Simone Martini is the largest Sienese painter of the first half of the XIV century the Exact date of his birth is unknown. However, the known exact date of his death - in Siena monastery of San Domenico in the records of the dead from August 4, 1344, says: "Master Simon, artist, died in Curia; the burial took place the fourth day in August 1344 of the year". Vasari in his biography of Simone Martini said that his tomb was stated that the artist died at the age of sixty years, therefore, his date of birth can be attributed to 1284 About the first thirty years of the artist's life has no information. Ferdinando Bologna, Italian researcher creativity Martini, believes that since 1312 in 1315, Simone often came from Siena, Assisi, where he made drawings of window stained-glass Windows for the chapel of San Martino. The first reliable work Simone - fresco "Miesta" in the city hall of Siena, on which date (1315, and the signature "a man di Symone", that is "the work of Simone". This time, correspond to two entries in account books Siena Treasury is issuing 34 Lear and 12 Soldi June 7, 1315, and 46 Lear and 8 Soldo between 20 October and 12 December the same year. The mere fact that the young artist has entrusted such responsible work in the hall of the Sienese government speaks for its popularity and developed by the time a good reputation . After the frescoes "Miesta" Simone likely working on the frescoes in the chapel of San Martino in the famous Church of San Francesco in Assisi, which ends in the year 1317. It is supposed, (although this has not been documented by) that he or she works in Naples over the altar of St. Louis of Toulouse, as he was canonized it is in 1317, Some scientists believe that one of the accounts of Anjou court, in which the king appoints the annual salary of 50 ounces of gold a certain "Simone Martini milite"that is, "Simone Martini, the knight", is directly related to the artist, because he could be built in the knights for personal merits, and also because in the creativity expressed the signs of respect to Robert of Naples, his family and the French Royal house. However, this interpretation is not all agree, although the conferral of the title of knight of artists such level met in the late middle ages.

In 1319 Simone Martini wrote a polyptych for the Church of Santa Caterina, in 1320, the polyptych, which is now stored in the Museum at Orvieto. All other works of this period not have an exact date, but imputed to him for similar stylistic characteristics. This period was very productive, Simone from his Studio worked in Orvieto, but the products, went out of its walls were of uneven quality, and experts are still arguing, where the hand of a master, where is the hand of apprentices. In 1321 the name of Simone again appears in the records of Siena Treasury - Bickery - he got payment for the restoration of its frescoes "Miesta", which at that time was corrupted oozed moisture. In 1322-23, in the accounts of Bickery the name of Simone Martini again several times mentioned in connection with the payments it amounts for a number of unspecified works in the Palazzo Pubblico. In 1324, Simone Martini married Giovanna, the daughter of the artist, Mimmo di Filippucci and sister Lippo memmi. Shortly before that, in January-February, 1324, he bought from his father-in-house, and later gave his bride a generous gift - 220 gold florins. According to the testimony of Petrarch, Simone was not pretty, besides the bride was much younger than him, and can only guess about the reasons for such a generous gift. This marriage was introduced Simone family Lippo, which belonged to the successful workshop, strengthen professional and friendly relations, which was maintained throughout life. The crown of these relations should be considered as the famous "Annunciation" of the Uffizi gallery in Florence, where scientists are still unable to distinguish a single hand at the hands of another.

To 1320-th years, probably, is the creation of the altar, "blessed Agostino Novello". In 1326 by the Martini has created a picture for Palazzo CAPITANO del Popolo, that in the XV century was praised Ghiberti, but it has not survived. In 1329-30, he created two works for Palazzo Pubblico, who also did not survive till our days. In 1330, he writes fresco "Guidoriccio Yes Fogliano" in honor of the release in 1328 Sienese fortress of Montemassi. In 1333, together with Lippo memmi creates the "Annunciation" (Florence, Uffizi). This is his last known work before leaving to Avignon, where he arrives, apparently, in 1336

Moving papacy to Avignon turned this small town in the art center. Moving there as individual artists, and the whole workshops. The papal Treasury generously paid for the construction and decoration of the new residence. Simone Martini arrived in Avignon on the patronage of one of the cardinals.

Simone was aristocratic artist who supported due to the higher strata of society, serving and expressed his art the interests of the Angevin dynasty, the Pope and Siena Council of Nine. He made a brilliant career, turning from the artist local value master of international class, serving the papal throne. His reputation in his native Siena was impeccable.

June 30, 1344, Simone Martini made a will. Perhaps he was already seriously ill and was a will, sensing the imminent end. Written and witnessed Florentine notary Ser, Geppo di Ser Bonaiuto Galgani, the document says that all his property (two houses, land with vineyards and a solid amount of money) it is his will was divided between his wife, nieces Francesca and Giovanna and children of his brother Donato. Their children from Simone was not, therefore, the distribution of state nieces and nephews shows him as a person loving and sentimental. In about a month Simone Martini died in Avignon.

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